Duchy Ballets presents 'The Nutcracker'. There is an atmosphere of excitement and expectancy as the drawing room of the Stahlbaum's house is prepared for their Christmas party. Soon their guests will begin to arrive and will be welcomed enthusiastically by the Stahlbaums and their children, Clara and Fritz. The entrance of the final guest, the mysterious Dr Droselmeyer, takes everyone by surprise. He brings with him a strange atmosphere of fantasy and illusion and holds his audiences spellbound with his extraordinary Christmas presents, life-size dolls that seem almost human.
Clara is given a magnificent Nutcracker whilst Fritz is given a drum. Fritz, jealous of the Nutcracker doll, snatches it and plays silly games with the other boys, the Nutcracker is broken and Clara is upset. Drosselmeyer fixes the doll with a handkerchief and a small make-shift bed is provided under the Christmas tree for the Nutcracker. At the end of the party Clara’s checks on her Nutcracker, falling asleep under the Christmas tree with him in her arms.
Clara is woken at the stroke of midnight with rats and mice running across the floor and the new dolls fighting them. The house, the tree and the toys seem to be getting larger. Is she shrinking? A rat army lead by the Rat King, is attacking the dolls.
The Nutcracker organizes the soldier toys and fights the rat army. The Rat King manages to trap the Nutcracker in a corner and although she is afraid Clara is determined to defend her beloved Nutcracker and throws her slipper at him. She hits the Rat King and The Nutcracker is able to overcome the stunned Rat King and claim victory. The rat army quickly carries away their King.
The Nutcracker is transformed into a human prince (who looks strikingly similar to Drosselmeyer’s nephew). Wide eyed Clara is taken on an amazing journey through a magical snowy forest until they come to their destination in the Land of Sweets.
On their arrival, they are greeted by the Sugar Plum Fairy who listens as they re-enact the night’s events. The Sugar Plum Fairy is so impressed with Clara’s bravery and the Nutcracker’s heroism that she takes them into the Candy Castle and holds a lavish festival in their honour. Clara tells the Nutcracker she wishes the adventure would never end and he tells her it won’t for those who have an eye to see it.
Clara wakes up the next morning under the Christmas tree with her Nutcracker still in her arms.
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